The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Child Is "TIME"

Aditi Agrawal

Director, Bloomz International School, Goa

“If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family” -Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa delivered the truth in a palatable and achievable manner. Her words of wisdom regarding the family are timeless treasures that we can apply even today. The highest virtue in our modern ambiance is happiness. Being a parent our basic prerequisite is to give our children the attention they need and deserve.

Here are a few ideas to help you develop relationships with your kids in spite of a hectic schedule:

  • Outings – Take your child for just a ride with you to run some errands. The time you spend with them is invaluable. Children have curious minds and bringing them along to even post a letter or buy some groceries gives them the experience they only read about in their books. Sharing such simple things with parents is always an adventure for a child they might never forget.
  • Nicknames – Each one of us has grown up being called by one or more nicknames in our childhoods. These are the special tokens by our loved ones and we always hold these names close to our hearts. We want our children to know they hold an extraordinary place in our hearts and this ensures that their position is uniquely & individually just for them.
  • Go on a date with your child – Every once in a while take your child for an individual outing. This is more than just getting your child with you to run chores. It’s time you exclusively make to give your child undivided attention. Surprise them by picking them up from school or a class and take them out for an ice-cream or a run on the beach!
  • Listen to them – Talk and discuss anything and everything under the sun with your children. We must get to know their likes and dislikes. Ask them what super powers they want to have? What would they do on a holiday? Who is their BFF?. Listening carefully helps you understand your child’s values, aspirations and desires, and enables them to be comfortable in talking to you about things they might be encountering and need advice on. To have an open communication helps us stay connected with our children even when they grow up to be adults.
  • Eat together – Having meals together as a family gives the chance to celebrate victories, share the sorrows, a joke maybe, or anything that anyone one of us has experienced during the day. This brings a sense of being a family and hence acts as a constant in the child’s life. They associate themselves with this constant and as their “happy place”.
  • Be accessible – Let your child know you are always there for them when they need you. They should be allowed to call you for a simple reason to say “I love you dad” or “I’m missing you mom”. The best quality time spent with kids is before they fall asleep in bed. They want to talk about their day and you should be there to listen!
  • Display interest – Each child is different and has varied interests. We must notice them, as a parent’s approval and interest is one of the most crucial aspects for a child. Their special interests should be enhanced and we must try and include in their little games of UNO, snakes & ladders, carom etc.

Do we fail sometimes? Yes we do, as parents we cannot be everywhere and do all the things but we surely make our best efforts to give our children what best we can. A vital aspect we need to take in consideration is that in this bargain now a days our children are suffering from a deficiency of an important vitamin “N” or the dose of hearing “NO” from their parents. The incapacity of being able to say “NO” to our kids. Some of us who are busy with their careers and don’t have the time to give to their child compensate by giving the child whatever materialistic things he/she asks for. Studies show that children who are used to such a behaviour grow up to be emotionally stunted & self-centered adults. All we need to do is learn to say the big NO to our kids when it is required.

Nevertheless, being parents is one of the greatest things that happens to us and we must be appreciative to have our beautiful children in our lives.

Let’s make a conscious effort to give our children 100% of what they need & 25% of they want!

Aditi Agrawal

Director, Bloomz International School, Goa